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Sustainable Transport – Council adopts position on three Commission proposals

On 2 June, the Transport, Telecommunications, and Energy configuration of the EU Council adopted a general approach on three European Commission proposals within the Fit for 55 package related to the transport sector. The goal of the package is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector by 90% compared to 1990 levels.

Within the Council, an agreement has been reached on the following initiatives:

  • Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR)

The main purpose of the proposed regulation is to ensure minimum infrastructure, interoperability, and full user information to support the required uptake of alternative fuel vehicles across all transport modes.

The general approach of the Council amended some aspects of the Commission proposal, by introducing specific provisions for the electric heavy-duty vehicle and adapting the electric recharging requirements to a wide range of specific circumstances within the TEN-E network.

  • Renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport (ReFuelEU Maritime)

The proposals look at fostering the demand and the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in the maritime sector, while ensuring the smooth operation of the maritime traffic and avoiding distortions in the internal market.

Respecting the core aspects of the Commission proposal, the European transport ministers agreed on revising the scope of the requirements for on-shore power supply, strengthening the role of companies, verifiers, and public authorities in the monitoring, reporting and verification procedures, and harshening the calculation methods for greenhouse gas intensity to prevent any circumvention of the regulation.

  • Sustainable Air Transport (ReFuelEU Aviation)

The initiative's objective to enlarge the sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) market, including synthetic aviation fuels while ensuring a level playing field across the EU air transport market.

The Council retained core provisions of the Commission’s proposal, like the establishment of a minimum share of SAF from 2025, and the creation of a transitional period. However, it modifies other concepts with the aim of facilitating and accelerating the development of SAF, such as the extension of the scope with regard to aircraft operators and eligible sustainable aviation fuels, the introduction of reporting obligations for fuel suppliers, and the reinforcement of data collection and reporting obligations.

The general approach will now allow the Council to have a common position ahead of the trilogues that will start once the European Parliament has adopted its position on the same initiatives.

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